The bad news is that the State of Israel will apparently be under general closure for at least another month. The good news is that something productive may come out of it – a baby boom in a few months, despite the current financial insecurity.
For several weeks between March and May this year, Israeli citizens were in quarantine as part of dealing with the first wave of COVID-19. Between the shutdown of the economy, the social isolation, the anxieties and fears that accompanied the uncertainty, the social distance and the children who out of their classrooms, it seems that the new routine has many different implications for the lives of all of us
A relatively small study conducted at the obstetrics department of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa examined the implications of the previous closure on the sex lives of Israelis. It focused on a group of couples who recently became parents for the first time, after experiencing a normal birth, without any complications or intervention. A total of 67 women and men took part. It should be noted that more than half of the subjects (56.4%) stayed at home during lockdown with their spouse.
Respondents included 38 women and 29 men. Among the criteria examined in the survey were sexual desire, arousal, ability to achieve sexual satisfaction and more. Subjects could rate each criterion with a score of one to six, with the overall score ranging from five to 30. The higher the score given in the survey, the greater the dissatisfaction with their sexual function. Subjects who rated themselves or their partner with a score of more than 19 points were considered to be suffering from a sexual dysfunction problem.
Returning to sexual function after a first birth is a significant stage in the life of many couples, when the matter is accompanied by concerns and challenges. “With the outbreak of the corona pandemic and the period of the first closure in many Israeli homes, quite a few elements of unconventional stress occurred,” explained Dr. Ola Gottzeit of Rambam’s Pregnancy and Childbirth Department, who led the study, which was titled “Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Financial Uncertainty.”
Fear of the unknown virus and its consequences, economic problems, unemployment and the lack of privacy due to the fact that many couples’ children were at home day and night could have been factors. In light of all this, the tam wanted to examine the implications of the quarantine for returning to a sexual routine among the young couples.”
The researchers estimated that the extreme scenario brought on by the Coronavirus and the period of quarantine would be reflected in reports of sexual dysfunction and the sex life of the couples. But to their surprise, the results showed a completely different reality: “We conducted the survey twice. Asked about their sex life during and about two months after quarantine, the median scores given by women were 13 and by men a score of 11 in both ASEX surveys). The quarantine had no effect on their sexual function. “That is, there was no significant change between the two reports in most cases. The reports between the two genders were also quite similar in score, that is, the satisfaction was similar.” If they didn’t use contraceptives, a baby boom is likely to occur, the team said.
Although this is a first research paper reviewing a relatively small group, it points to an interesting phenomenon: “The responses were surprising, as they are mainly related to the fact that these are couples with a relatively small and intimate family unit — two parents and one child – in which there is less pressure and a greater chance for intimacy. “We are continuing to follow the data and further research around the issue of sexual function after a first birth under such and other conditions. The better we understand the situation, the more we can give our patients and their spouses an optimal response and quality of life,” said the researcher.